First Cruise (Family)...Bahamas or Caribbean?

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Ask a Cruise Question
Post your general cruise questions here.
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 12:38 AM.
#1
Michigan
2 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
We are starting to plan our 1st ever cruise (for April 2014), at that time it will be my wife and I plus twin 10 year old boys.

We are thinking a 4-5 night cruise.

We don't know exactly WHERE we want to depart from, but we do know from Florida. We are hoping to tie in a 2 day trip to Universal Studio's (Orlando) on either the front end or back end of the cruise, the boys are big into Harry Potter.

I have NEVER been anywhere tropical, so I don't know a thing about either place..
Is one any better than the other for the ports we would stop at?

Would the weather be any better (warmer) 1 way or the other.

Any suggestions or input would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Guy
#2
Northern VA
2,451 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
I have done 2 4 night cruises. One with kids and one just DH and I. When planning I would also look at sea days vs ports of call. DH & I had 1 sea day and 2 ports when we went on our first cruise. With the kids, we had 2 port days. We were on the smaller/older ships so the lack of sea day with the kids was not an issue-although we did feel rushed in the mornings to get to excursions. The sea day seemed much more relaxed-so much so that we are now taking a 4 nighter with 2 sea days and 1 port.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature






#3
NJ
7,276 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
The farther south you go, the warmer it will be.

It may depend on how much time you have for vacation. If only 7 days you will be hard pressed to find a carribbean cruise that leaves you time for Harry Potter but there are short 3 & 4 day trips to the Bahamas.

If you have time for the Carribbean plus Harry do that but I'm biased b/c I don't care for the Bahamas.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Trish
#4
delaware
1,242 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
the bahamas in april might be a bit chilly in the water. I would choose the carribean. Harry potter is ok , we went opening day. it is only 2 new rides one of which has a weight limit and one is a kiddy coaster. the 3rd ride is not new they just renamed the fire and ice coaster to dueling dragons. it is mostly shops. but im sure your 10 yr olds will love it. you can actually do the park in one day if you pay for priority pass (not sure that thats what its called) but we paid 20$ extra and you get to the front of the line on most of the rides one time. we actually did both universal parks in one day. If they still have this special it is worth it.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
11/17/2007 carnival triumph
06/06/2010 carnival valor
04-23-2011 Oasis of the Seas ds 16th bday
11/15/2012 thanksgiving on explorer of the seas
01/03/2014 Granduer of the seas
01/31/2014 Granduer of the seas
05/28/2014 carnival splendor
05/24/2015 carnival splendor
06/01/2015 back to back carnival splendor
01/17/16 carnival pride journeys cruise
05/15/16 Allure of the seas son's 21th birthday
12/11/16 Allure of the seas
01/02/17 Carnival Pride Journeys cruise
My Cruise Countdown | I'm sailing to the Caribbean on 04/30/2017 aboard the Carnival Breeze! Visit Carnival.com to see all Caribbean cruises.
My Cruise Countdown | I'm sailing to the Caribbean on 01/07/2018 aboard the Carnival Pride! Visit Carnival.com to see all Caribbean cruises.
#5
Kansas
2,023 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
The first cruise we did with our sons was the RCCL Majesty of the Seas that went to a private island (Coco Cay), Nassau, and then to Key West. It left on a Monday and returned on a Friday and then we drove up to Orlando until Sunday.
Our kids still say it was the best vacation ever and we've been on many other longer more exciting trips since then.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Previous Cruises:
RCCL Majesty of the Seas (Bahamas) 6/07
RCCL Freedom of the Seas (Western Caribbean) 6/08
RCCL Majesty of the Seas (Bahamas) 1/09
RCCL Navigator of the Seas (Cozumel) 3/09
RCCL Adventure of the Seas (Southern Caribbean) 6/09
RCCL Majesty of the Seas (Bahamas) 1/10
Carnival Victory (Southern Caribbean) 6/10
Carnival Destiny (Cozumel) 9/10
RCCL Majesty of the Seas (Bahamas) 1/11
RCCL Serenade of the Seas (Southern Caribbean) 6/11
RCCL Majesty of the Seas (Bahamas) 1/12
Carnival Liberty (Western Caribbean) 6/12
RCCL Liberty of the Seas (Eastern Caribbean) 2/13
RCCL Jewel of the Seas (Southern Caribbean) 6/13

Carnival Breeze (Western Caribbean) 2/14
RCCL Majesty of the Seas (Bahamas) 6/14
[COLOR=rgb(255,0,255)]
[/color]
#6
Northern VA
2,451 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by janabm81
The first cruise we did with our sons was the RCCL Majesty of the Seas that went to a private island (Coco Cay), Nassau, and then to Key West. It left on a Monday and returned on a Friday and then we drove up to Orlando until Sunday.
Our kids still say it was the best vacation ever and we've been on many other longer more exciting trips since then.
We did the same itinerary with our kids. We went during spring break (end of March/early April) in 2010 and the water in the Bahamas and Coco Cay was definitely warm enough to swim. The kids spent tons of time on the blow ups in Coco Cay and we swam with the dolphins & Atlantis water park in Nassau. Was not chilly at all.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature






#7
Boca Raton, Florida
2,910 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Guy,

Do your thing on land, before or after for 2 or three 3 nights, and then see what Royal Caribbean has out of Miami for 4 or 5 nights, maybe an eastern or western Caribbean deal. It will be plenty hot, but there is never a guarantee as to weather (think rain). The Bahamas are no problem if you stop at Nassau or some private island. You have a ton of time to plan this.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Best regards,

Lou Betti
Boca Raton, FL

The late, great Regal Empress. One of the
longest serving passenger ships of all time.
...............1953 to 2009.....................

On board QE2 for the last trans-Atlantic
of the 20th Century, December 1999 & 2000

On board QM2 for her maiden trans-Atlantic
to New York, April 2004

I love to cruise, but my flying comes first!
Cessna 210N Turbo Centurion.

44 cruises since 1985 and I am too lazy to mention them all! However, I do own the Builder's Certificate to the the RMS Queen Elizabeth. A lot of good that does me! Ships sailed on: Costa Riviera. Home Lines Atlantic. Cunard QE2 & QM2. Premier Cruise's Sea Breeze & Rembrandt. Celebrity Zenith, Century, Galaxy & Millennium. Bahamas Celebration, and my favorite ship of all, Regal Empress! Cunard Diamond, Celebrity Elite, RCI Diamond (and I've yet to sail on RCI!!)